Ministry and Rigor Mortis guitarist Mike Scaccia has died at the age of 47 after collapsing onstage at a performance in Fort Worth, Texas, on Saturday night (Dec. 22). The musician had been performing with thrash metal veterans Rigor Mortis at the Rail Club when he suddenly fell to the ground after suffering a heart attack. Classic Rock magazine reports that one of the band's members returned to the address the crowd, stating only, "It doesn't look good." Scaccia was rushed to the hospital, but passed away soon after.

Rigor Mortis singer Bruce Corbitt, who scheduled the event in Fort Worth to celebrate his 50th birthday, stated on Facebook, "My brother is gone! The only reason I am who I am is because of this man. If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t even be in a band. RIP Mike -- the greatest guitar player I ever knew. I’m proud to say that I was always Mike Scaccia’s biggest fan, and always will be.”

Scaccia began his career with Rigor Mortis, a band he helped form in 1983. By 1988, the thrash/speed metal group had signed a major label deal and released their self-titled debut via Capitol Records

In 1989, Ministry frontman Al Jourgensen asked the guitarist to join the the influential industrial band for a tour, and subsequently tapped Scaccia as a permanent member of Ministry.

The guitarist's contributions can be heard on Ministry's 'Psalm 69' (1992) and 'Filth Pig' (1996) albums, although he left the band in 1996 prior to their 'Filth Pig' touring. Scaccia would eventually return to Ministry and appeared on a few of the band's most recent albums, including their lates disc, 2012's 'Relapse.'

In 2003, Rigor Mortis re-formed and Scaccia has been part of the reunited version of the band ever since. The band had been working on a new album with Jourgensen producing at the time of Scaccia's death.

Scaccia has also played in Jourgenson's other bands Revolting Cocks and Buck Satan & the 666 Shooters.

Loudwire offers its condolences to Mike Scaccia's family, friends and bandmates. Below, we've posted one of Scaccia's best known contributions to Ministry in the video for 'Jesus Built My Hotrod' featuring Butthole Surfers singer Gibby Haynes on vocals.

Update: Al Jourgensen has posted a heartfelt note on Ministry's Facebook page about the loss of Mike Scaccia. Read it here.

Update No. 2: An official cause of death has been revealed, as well as plans for an online fundraiser and a benefit show for Scaccia's family. Details here.

Ministry With Gibby Haynes, 'Jesus Built My Hotrod'

More From KZCD-FM